According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the property management space is slated to grow 7% by 2028.
It’s no secret that renting is more popular than ever, with house prices at an all-time high in addition to greater difficulty during the loan approval process.
But with that challenge comes opportunity for aspiring property managers for both growth and profitability.
With that said, a job in property management may not be for everyone.
So, below, we’ll explore what a property manager does, what you can expect to make, potential career paths, and more to discover if it’s a fit for you.
What are the duties of a property manager?
If you’re considering a job in property management, the first thing we should talk about is what a property manager does.
As a property manager, you’ll handle the everyday management of one or more properties (typically a group of properties owned by an individual or investment firm).
Things you can expect to do on a day-to-day basis include:
- Interview, screen, and sign leases with new tenants
- Keep up with regular property repairs, checks, and maintenance requests from tenants
- Collecting rent, deposits, and other fees and managing the related accounts
- Advertising vacant units and properties, primarily on major listing sites such as Zillow
- And a whole lot more
Hopefully, that gives you a better idea of the kinds of tasks you’ll be handling as a property manager.
Keep in mind that the above list is by no means comprehensive, though. There are a slew of other responsibilities a property manager may have depending on the property as well as other factors.
How much does a property manager make?
While there are many benefits to being a property manager, one of the greatest is the pay.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the property and community association manager profession group earns a median annual income of roughly $60,000 (2021 data), far higher than the median income of most professions.
Even better, the top 10% of property managers are reported to earn more than $124,680.
However, when it comes to property management, it’s also worth mentioning that starting your own property management company is an avenue you can take as well.
That comes with its own set of challenges, but also greater making potential as well.
With that said, it also requires a whole different set of skills and responsibilities beyond just property management, so it won’t be a fit for everyone.
Is being a property manager stressful?
Being a property manager isn’t more stressful than any other profession.
However, it’s important when picking a profession to select something that’s a fit for you and the way you tend to work best.
The great thing about being a property manager is you have a lot of flexibility, both in process, focus (in terms of what services you offer), and location.
Not to mention, with the opportunity that exists within the industry currently, job security is one less thing you need to worry about.
Property management job paths
Now, let’s talk about a few potential property management career pathways.
We’ve already touched on property manager itself, so here we’ll branch out to a few other possibilities.
These are great potential starting points if you’re working your way up as well as just good examples of different professions within the field.
If accounting is your strong suit, or an area you already have expertise, this is one place to start.
Property management companies may hire a bookkeeper to handle the day-to-day accounting tasks such as:
- Recording rent and other payments
- Maintaining records
As an accountant or bookkeeper, getting in with a good property management company is a great opportunity for more work if they have a large client base.
A leasing assistant is fairly common in larger residential complexes. They help within the leasing office but with tasks beyond just leasing at times.
In general they’d help with all the same tasks as the head manager depending on what is needed of them.
This role isn’t set in concrete so it can change depending on the team and what is needed at the time.
They can help with everything from:
- Communicating with tenants
- Processing rent payments
- Scheduling maintenance
- Data input
- And more
Similar to a leasing assistant, an administrative assistant can work as an assistant to the head manager.
However, where they tend to differ from leasing assistants is that they handle more general office duties like a traditional assistant.
Their duties can include:
- Data entry
- Basic bookkeeping tasks
- Communicating with vendors
- And more
What training and certifications does a property manager need?
Now, let’s talk about what kind of formal training or certifications are necessary to become a property manager.
To become a property manager, no degree is required.
There are certain degrees that are a boon if you already have them, such as accounting and business administration.
However, neither of these is necessary.
What is necessary in most states is a real estate broker’s license (or a standard real estate license which you then hang at a broker’s office).
In many states, you can’t officially operate as a property manager without a license.
Beyond that, most states also require some manner of certification credit showing you took a state certified course on property management.
This certification can often be used to go towards required training hours to obtain your license, so they’re typically tied together.
Examples of some of these certifications are:
- Certified Property Manager
- Accredited Residential Manager
Each of these are different, so you’ll need to decide which certification of those offered in your state makes the most sense for you.
Additional resources for aspiring property managers
Now that you know everything you need to get started, let’s finish with some useful resources.
There’s a lot of information out there, but it’s important to make sure you’re getting your info from some kind of official source such as the National Association of Realtors (or NAR):
That’s especially relevant if you’re talking about details on licensing or certification in your state, as the wrong information can make you waste time and effort.
Here are a few great places to go for more information on getting licensed as a property manager or related profession in your state:
- National Association of Realtors (NAR)
- Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM)
- National Property Management Association (NPMA)
- National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM)
And don’t forget to follow the DoorLoop blog, which includes countless high-quality guides designed to help you become a better property manager.